Sweet Potato Treats and a Recipe

With all of the terrible stories in the news about dogs getting sick from eating tainted dog treats from China, I’m really, really careful about where Kendall’s treats come from. I’ve been making most of them at home. She loves everything sweet potato, so I’ve experimented with a few things.

Dried Sweet Potatoes

I’ve found that putting the sweet potatoes in the food dehydrator overnight dries them out to a point where they’re crunchy but not too hard. It works best if you use an apple corer to punch a hole in the discs of sweet potatoes. They dry a lot better that way. You can also dry the cores into bite size sweet potato treats.

Drying the potatoes overnight makes them perfectly done
Drying the potatoes overnight makes them perfectly done

Sweet potato peanut butter treats

I bought too many sweet potatoes the other day to fit in my dryer, so I decided to bake some treats for Kendall. She loves peanut butter, so I mixed in some peanut butter and cinnamon. She loves them!

  • 3 to 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.
  2. Steam the sweet potatoes until tender. Mash them or use a ricer to break them down.
  3. Mix in the eggs and peanut butter.
  4. Add the cinnamon
  5. Add 3 cups of flour, mixing as you go. You want a stiff dough that doesn’t stick to your hands. Add flour, as needed, until the dough is easy to work with.
  6. Roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch thick and use a cookie cutter to cut out the shapes.
  7. Arrange on a baking sheet. I used a Silpat mat so they wouldn’t stick.
  8. Bake for about 40 min.

The small gingerbread men took about 30 min., whereas the larger ones took about 40 min. You want them browned and crunchy without being too browned.

Treats ready to go in the oven
Treats ready to go in the oven

Overall, both treats were a big hit. Kendall likes the taste, and I like knowing where the treats come from.


Portland Traditions

My sister came out to visit with me about a week ago, and we made sure we visited some of the Portland establishments. We attended Tuba Christmas in Pioneer Courthouse Square. Imagine 225 tubas of all sizes (they do come in different shapes and sizes) all playing Christmas carols with about 1000 Portlanders singing along. It’s a tradition that’s fun to experience at least once. It’s usually held around Dec. 7th, always on a Saturday, and it’s free. This year it didn’t rain on us.

We hung out there for a little while and then headed down the street for one of our favorite Portland traditions – Spanish coffees at Huber’s Cafe.

Spanish coffee
Spanish coffee at Huber's Cafe

Huber’s Cafe is the oldest restaurant in Portland. They’re known for their delicious turkey dishes, but nothing beats the Spanish coffee and the show that goes along with making one. According to their web site, a Spanish Coffee at Huber’s consists of Bacardi 151 rum, Bols Triple Sec, Kahlua, coffee, fresh whipped cream and a touch of nutmeg on top. There’s fire involved and lots of whirling arms and glasses.

We were just down the street from another Portland icon, so we walked down to Voodoo Doughnuts. If you watch the Food Network or the Travel Channel, I’m sure you’ve seen Voodoo Doughnuts. They make some pretty weird doughnuts. You can even get married there!

Voodoo Doughnuts
Voodoo Doughnuts

We had a bacon maple bar, a Butterfinger, a Voodoo doughnut complete with pretzel pin and raspberry filling, and a boring chocolate one that I picked out.

If you ever find yourself in Portland with a hankering for good food and drink, you’ll have to stop by these places.



More Cavalier Camping – Vintage Style

We spent last weekend camping with our teardrop trailer and vintage trailer friends for whom I do the newsletter. There were 49 trailers there at last count. The weather was almost perfect. It did sprinkle toward the end of the trip on Sunday, but it wouldn’t be camping if there weren’t a little rain. I think it’s rained every time we’ve been out camping in the last three years.

There were a lot of dogs on the camping trip. Some we’ve met before and others are new friends. I was able to get a few of them with their trailers. Spike, who was featured in our Wordless Wednesday post, was camped right next door in a nice little teardrop trailer.

A few of the teardrop trailers
Camping in style
A Cozy Cruiser teardrop trailer

Many of the teardrop trailers are home built while others are built by manufacturers. It’s a lot of fun to see what people have put into them. The traditional teardrop trailer is 4′ x 8′ and has a hatch in the back that lifts up to expose the galley. Two people can fit inside to sleep just fine, but it gets a bit cramped when you add a dog or two.

Some of the tow vehicles

Many of the teardrop trailers are pulled by antique or classic cars. They usually weigh less than 1000 lb, so they’re easily pulled by most cars.

Another tow vehicle and trailer
An Airstream Bambi and a Scamp (I think)
Colorful camping
A beautiful combination
A teardrop trailer from the 1940's
A cute dog named Libby camps here
A great little Frisbee dog
Another camping Cavalier
Live music cowboy style

There was even live music on Saturday afternoon. The Cow Chips played for about 2 hours.

It was all just a little too much to handle

Later that evening we had a huge potluck dinner. Many of us cooked in our Dutch ovens. I made chicken enchiladas, which was enough for about 20 people. I’m hoping that someone who was camping with us took some pictures of all of the Dutch ovens lined up before dinner.

All of this was followed by THE BIGGEST BONFIRE I have ever seen. The camp out was on private property and they had been saving up all of the debris on the property in a giant burn pile. It was a sight to see! It was so hot there wasn’t any chance of roasting marshmallows on it. Someone built a smaller side fire so that people could make s’mores. A big thanks to Spike’s mom for the bonfire picture.

The biggest camp fire I've ever seen

If you’re in to vintage trailers or teardrop trailers, be sure to check out the web site for The Teardroppers of Oregon and Washington, or TOW for short.

A Food Network Week in Philadelphia

I’m still in Philadelphia, but my coworkers and I are making the best of it. In addition to Dinic’s where we ate lunch the other day, we’ve been trying hard to visit other places featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives or Man vs. Food. On Sunday night, we ventured out to the Silk City Diner on Spring Garden Street. It was a beautiful evening, so we sat outside in their eclectic beer garden.

The food there is excellent. Last time I was there I had truffle fries, but I didn’t see them on the menu. All it took was a request and I had truffle fries with my meatloaf along with some wild mushroom gravy. This is all there was left. Can you tell I don’t like peas?

The beer garden was colorful and lots of fun.

My happy, hard-working co-workers

Then, on Monday night, we headed out to the Good Dog Bar and Restaurant. Kudos to my co-workers for tagging along to help me get blog post number 29 out of 30. This place fell into the Dives category of DDD, but the food was good. We tried the duck pot pie, the BLT with a fried green tomato in it, the baked macaroni and cheese, and a goat cheese, tomato quiche. For an appetizer, we tried the fried cheesesteak and truffle empanandas. Yumm.

The place is really cute, too, but it’s really loud! After spending the day in a technology trade show with competing booths with huge sound systems, it might have been nice to eat in a quieter place. The walls are covered with photos of dogs.

The bar at the Good Dog Bar and Restaurant

I also made sure I made it to Bassett’s Ice Cream in the Reading Terminal. That was featured on the same episode of Man vs. Food as Dinic’s was. It’s always been one of my favorite spots in the Reading Terminal Market.

I’m now wishing I had brought my camera along on this trip with me. Everything since I’ve come to Philadelphia has been taken on my iPhone or my coworkers iPhones. You never know when it’s going to be worth packing along the extra camera.

This ends my Food Network foray into Philadelphia. I have work commitments the next two nights and then it’s home for me. I promise to get back to the Kendall adventures soon.